Climate change is difficult to predict. Existing models dating back to the 1960’s and 70’s involve so much uncertainty that they often can not be used to decide whether and how to take action. 

The single largest sources of uncertainty in existing models is turbulence and convection, as seen in clouds. To address this issue, the Cliate Modeling Alliance (CliMA) team is developing a next-generation global climate model that more accurately simulates such relationships between clouds and climate. To guide development of these process models, CliMA is generating a large set of high-resolution simulations. However, these simulations are challenging to examine in a streamlined fashion.

To aid the scientists in developing the turbulence and convection models, we created NIMBUS. It enables the CliMA team to investigate the diagnostic results of large eddy simulations in 3D over time. Scientists can interactively compare salient aspects of turbulent structures, including updrafts and entrainment zones, in one unified space. Viewing and analyzing the central quantitative results of multiple simulations at once allows researchers to quickly iterate and test the model.